Friday, April 17, 2009

Nintendo consoles no vehicle for mature games?



The high-profile DS title ´Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars´ has sold a mere 88.704 units in the US in March, prompting fears that Nintendo platforms simply are not the right vehicle for mature games. In the face of rave reviews for the game, analyst Eric Krangel found some very strong words regarding the poor sales figures.


Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is dying on the shelves. (...) So how did Take-Two flub a sure thing? Chinatown Wars was built for the wrong console. The title -- whose gameplay centers around drug dealing, cold-blooded murder, and sex -- is only available on the Nintendo DS, who's primary audience is children. Parents refused to let their kids play, and the adult DS audience just isn't that big.

Take-Two reps tell us in a phone call that they remain confident in the long-term success of Chinatown Wars, and they note March was difficult for all videogame publishers, with sales down 17% across the industry.

Chinatown Wars may yet find life down the road, but all in all a rare misstep from Take-Two. And the winner here might actually be Sony (SNE): The Chinatown Wars disaster will likely scare other publishers away from making new adult-themed games for the Nintendo DS. Some may redirect efforts towards Sony's PSP, which targets a somewhat older crowd.


In the story's comments, a GameFAQs moderator seems to accuse Krangel of bias and points out that "the highest profile game on the PSP this month sold only a mere 55,000 units. So it bombed even harder than Chinatown Wars."

To be sure, Eric Krangel is just as critical of other consoles. The same author recently called the PlayStation3 a "sinking ship" which is "flopping so badly".

So, purely objectively, are mature titles like ´Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars´ wasted on Nintendo platforms? Or will they deliver impressive sales figures in the long run?




I have argued that 2009 will become the crossroads for the Wii regarding mature games. By the end of this year, 20 survival horror games should be available for the platform, as well as the undisputably most violent videogame ever, ´MadWorld´. This game, alongside ´House of the Dead: Overkill´, is probably also the most stylish videogame to be released in a long time. There will be five titles in the ´Resident Evil´ series, two of which are exclusives. Sales figures for games like these will either pave the way for more such games or will turn developers of mature titles away from Nintendo for years to come.

While the quality of ´MadWorld´ and ´House of the Dead: Overkill´ is not questionable, the sales figures certainly are. These games sold 66.000 and 45.000 units in the USA in their first month, respectively, according to Gamasutra. Now, those are clearly very poor sales figures, albeit Sega claiming otherwise.

As a reminder, though, mature titles on Wii have sold well in the past. Apparently, ´Resident Evil 4 Wii edition´ and ´Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles´ have sold 1,5 and 1,25 million units, respectively. After all, Capcom recently announced a sequel to the latter.

´Red Steel´, ´Metroid Prime 3: Corruption´ and both parts of ´Call of Duty´ sold above a million and ´The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return´ just under. These are pretty decent sales. The newer titles do have a long way to go until they get anywhere near these figures, if they ever do.

EDIT ´GTA Chinatown Wars´ sold almost as much in its second month, proving to some analysts that mature titles on Nintendo platforms are simply long-sellers.

Source: Business Insider
Thanks to: Joystiq, Mark

21 comments:

Rye said...

The problem with mostof this analysis is that it's too U.S. centric.

HoTD Overkill for example has done very well in the UK and Europe. But because the NPD figures aren't that high,everybody goes crazy.

Anonymous said...

They should wait for the worldwide long term sales before going all paranoid!!! I bet you both games will end up doing fairly well in a few months.

I for one still plan on picking up both MadWorld and ChinatownWars! People need to understand that not every gamer out there is a super hardcore nerd who camps out in front of stores in order to get games the very first second they're available.

However, despite getting good reviews and being "stylish" Mad World is still not exactly what one would consider to be a potential AAA mainstream blockbuster hit with its odd colourless look. ANd it most certainly didn't have a huge marketing campaign behind it pushing it. It should also be noted that it's not an established franchise like Resi or Halo. At the end of the day I'd say it still remains more of a niche game.

And then there's the kiddy Nintendo factor that doesn't exactly pave the way for mature content. Nintendo's attitdue is surely to blame as they strictly depend on kiddy and young teens games. I still haven't seen one mature content Nintendo title to this date and I challenge you to name one if you disagree with me (and please don't say Metroid lol).

Nintendo is still widely regarded as the kiddy company. And Nintendo feels comfortable in that position. They are kiddy on purpose. It's not a coincidence. Afterall they've been successful with this strategy for many many years. All their games are kiddy. They are all targeted at younger audiences. Of course they would never deliberately admit that in public since it would automatically distract and exclude all other audiences who might still be interested. But the unshakable truth is, their main target has always been parents who buy games for their kids. Doesn't exactly pave the way for mature games does it!?!

For mature games to be successful on a Nintendo platform Nintendo has to change in the first place. Their attitude has to change.
Miyamoto must step up and announce Murder,Death,Kill for Wii. That would be a first step in the right direction.

There is simply too much kidiness all over the place on Nintendo platforms. Doesn't help, I'm sorry.

Safe
IALS

Anonymous said...

...I only hope that Nintendo's newly built game developing plant in Japan will develop games outside Nintendo's usually territory and lean more towards what the third parties does - only with a more uniquely way, as expected from a Nintendo-label...

Slwer

Falafelkid said...

Looks like someone hasn't played ´Geist´. Ah well, not that I'm surprised here...

Jens-Florian said...

Don't forget the DS is a platform for longsellers. Even Kawashima was no first week blockbuster.
So Chinatown need a long lasting support and no first week sales panic or too early pricedrops. This would spoil the games success.

Anonymous said...

Come on Falafel, "Geist", you cannot be serious.lol.IALS

Falafelkid said...

Hi Jens-Florian.

I agree. In Germany, tv ads only started to run this week, as far as I know. And many people watching me play on the tube have asked me what I was playing there. In my mind, this could be the best DS game out there, so I am personally quite optimistic about sales figures.

And directed towards the less able-minded: which part of "one mature content Nintendo title" does this fool not understand? He wrote it himself too. This blog's village idiot really lives up to his name once again.

Anonymous said...

Many of those million sellers took a long time to get there. House of the Dead 2 and 3 Return just passed the million mark and it has been out for quite awhile. Same with both Call of Duties. If games like Overkill, Madworld and Chinatown Wars flop, that would mean bad things for rated m games on Nintendo consoles. However, it is way too earlier to assume that these games will sell poorly.

Anonymous said...

groooooooooooooooow up do people seriously believe that.......


oh look cod wow over half a million regular online players and well over a million sales

resident evil 4 wii over a million sales and its a cube game

DID PEOPLE EVEN CONSIDER THAT MADWORLDS BLACK AND WHITE GRAPHICS MIGHT HAVE STOPPED PEOPLE

DID IT ALSO CROSS PEOPLES MINDS 99% OF CORE NINTENDO FANS FIND GTA A IMMATURE FRANCHISE AND HIGHLY OVERRATED

AND DIDNT TAKE TWO AND ROCKSTAR BOTH CALL US NINTENDO FANS NAMES FOR LIKE YEARS

WOULD YOU PURCHUSE SOMETHING FROM THOSE CALLING YOU SLANDERUS NAMES

DONT CALL ME CASUAL OR KIDDY ROCK STAR THEN EXPECT MY MONEY

Anonymous said...

oh look cod wow over half a million regular online players and well over a million sales

The problem is that those numbers are abysmal compared with that of the other consoles.

resident evil 4 wii over a million sales and its a cube game

This will only encourage 3rd parties to port games over to Wii from last generation.

DID PEOPLE EVEN CONSIDER THAT MADWORLDS BLACK AND WHITE GRAPHICS MIGHT HAVE STOPPED PEOPLE

Funny, I thought graphics didn’t matter?

DID IT ALSO CROSS PEOPLES MINDS 99% OF CORE NINTENDO FANS FIND GTA A IMMATURE FRANCHISE AND HIGHLY OVERRATED

That sounds more like stereotyping and fanboyism on you behalf then anything else.

AND DIDNT TAKE TWO AND ROCKSTAR BOTH CALL US NINTENDO FANS NAMES FOR LIKE YEARS

Didn’t Nintendo say that their core fan were “geeks and otakus”?

WOULD YOU PURCHUSE SOMETHING FROM THOSE CALLING YOU SLANDERUS NAMES

You did…

DONT CALL ME CASUAL OR KIDDY ROCK STAR THEN EXPECT MY MONEY

Nintendo call their audience casual and even “non-gamers”.

Next time you should read the actual article before being blinded by your brand loyalty.

Cheers :)

Anonymous said...

WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP

OVER HALF A MILLION COD 5 WII ONLINE PLAYERS REGULARLY CONSISTENTLY

OVER 1 MILLION COD 5 WII SALES

OVER HALF A MILLION COD 5 DS SALES

1.5 MILLION RES EVIL 4

LOTS OF CORE GAMES LIKE STAR WARS HAVE GONE PAST THE MILLION MARK WITH EASE

OLDER MATURE PORTS HAVE DONE WELL


GOD FATHER/SCARFACE/BULLY

THEREWS NO HOME FOR HYPED SHIT ON WII AND GTA IS VERY MUCH HATED AS IT IS LOVED BY GAMERS

SO I NEED TO BUY WHAT IM TOLD TO IN ORDER TO BE A CORE GAMER AND EVERY FORMAT FAN HAS BY LAW GOT TO BUY MADWORLD


MEDWORLS CRAP MARKETING AND ITS BLACK AND WHITE WHAT DID PEOPLE THINK WOULD HAPPEN

BLACK AND WHITE VIDEOGAMES HHMMMM I THINK THE ANSWER IS RIGHT THERE

ITS PROVEN GLOBALLY WII IS NUMBER ONE 3RD PARTY PROFIT MAKER AND BU FAR THE OVERALL SOFTWARE MOVER


IT DOESNT TAKE A GENIUS DOES IT

ITS A KICKS CONSOLE REMEMBER ROLLING MY FUKING EYES AT THE INTERNET LIES

ACORDING TO KOMBO.COM RED STEEL IS WIIS LAST HOPE

I ASK YA I ASK YA FOR GODS SAKE THESE JURNOS NEED TO SERIOUSLY GROW UP

Anonymous said...

kiddiness WHAT A COMPLETE JERK

YES A GAME IS FOR KIDS BECAUSE ITS NOT AN 18

SO IS NEMO A KIDS FILM THEN

IS EAST ENDERS THE UKS MOST WATCHED SOAP A KIDS PROGRAMME

IF ITS A U/12/15/TEEN ITS FOR KIDS


OK THEN I BELIEVE YOU COUNTLESS MILLIONS OF INTELLIGENTS FOLKS WOULD NOT


WII FIT ISNT A 18 SO THATS PROOF OF WII BEING A KIDS TOY THERES NO GUNS WITH WII FIT

POST 2 UR AN IDIOT NOT OPINION """""""""""!!FACT!!!"""""""""

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